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Qureshi expresses concern over Islamophobic incident with Canadian counterpart

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau. Source: FILE/Online

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau and expressed concern over the tragic incident of Islamophobia in which a Pakistani family was trampled.

The foreign minister stated that the Islamophobic attack was a matter of serious concern and had caused anguish among Muslims worldwide. He appreciated the support extended by the Canadian government, civil society, media and general public to the family of the victims in this hour of grief.

He particularly lauded the strong condemnatory statement issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who termed this attack as Islamophobic. He expressed hope that the perpetrator of the crime would be brought to justice.

Qureshi briefed the Canadian Foreign Minister on the efforts undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to raise awareness and to curtail the growing Islamophobic tendencies. He underscored that the intentional community must show a common resolve against the rising trend of Islamophobia and promote peaceful coexistence and interfaith harmony.

The two foreign ministers agreed to work together on countering Islamophobia through coordinated efforts at various international forums. They agreed to instruct their Permanent Representatives in New York to work together in this regard.

READ MORE: PM Imran Khan calls for dialogue to address Islamophobia

On Tuesday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a policy statement at the National Assembly, called on the Western World to take action and appropriate measures for curbing the rising trend of Islamophobia.

The minister said the killing of four Pakistani-Canadian nationals was a hate crime and the chances of terrorism could not be ruled out in the truck attack in the city of London, Ontario.

Qureshi said the family, who had been living peacefully in Canada for the last ten years, became victim of hatred due to their Islamic beliefs. He said the entire Pakistani nation was grieved over the inhumane incident.

He conveyed to the Canadian high commissioner the indignation and anger of Pakistan people over the incident. He said Pakistan’s High Commission in Canada was in contact with the victim family to offer any kind of assistance and the family members would carry out the burial rituals in Canada.

The minister urged the Pakistani diaspora and the Muslim community living in Canada to reach out the aggrieved family to console them. He urged human rights bodies and international media to play their role in curbing such trends.

He said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had emphasised the need to eliminate Islamophobia. He said  Trudeau should adopt a rational approach like New Zealand prime minister over the Christchurch mosque shootings and restore the trust of people by contacting the family.

Qureshi said the Government of Pakistan was in contact with the Canadian Government and a clear strategy was being adopted to counter Islamophobia. He said the incident was being investigated by the Canadian authorities and police had not ruled out the possibility of terrorism.